General information
Title CZTři české tance
Subtitle CZpro dva klavíry
Title ENThree Czech Dances [auth.]
Subtitle ENfor two pianos [auth.]
Title DEDrei tschechische Tänze
Subtitle DEfür zwei Klaviere
Title FRTrois danses tchèques
Subtitle FRpour deux pianos
CategoryWorks for Keyboards
Subcategory2 Pianos, Cembalo, Organ
Halbreich number324
Parts of the composition (movements)1. Allegro; 2. Andante moderato; 3. Allegro (non troppo)
InstrumentsPf Pf
Dedicatee Bartlett, Ethel
Robertson, Rae
Diplomatic transcription of the dedicationTo | Ethel Bartlett | and Roe Robertson.
Place of compositionNew York, NY
Year of origin1949
Initiation of composition05.03.1949
Completion of composition11.04.1949
First performance
Performer Bartlett, Ethel
Robertson, Rae
Location of the first performanceEdinburgh (Edinburgh Festival)
Autograph deposition
Owner of the sourceÉditions Max Eschig
DepositionBibliothèque nationale de France
Note on the autograph depostitionFascimile of the autograph is held by the Bohuslav Martinů Centre in Polička.
CopyrightÉditions Max Eschig, Paris
Purchase linkbuy
Éditions Max Eschig, Paris, 1966
Call number at the BM Institute: 1128, 1128a
Specification of the edition: 1st edition
Details of this edition
References Related writings
Documents in the Library
Note Second movement was completed on 26.03.1949. *** The year of publication according to H. Halbreich: 1965; note in the (current) printed edition: "Copyright 1966 by Editions Max Eschig".
About the composition

Bohuslav Martinů composed his Three Czech Dances for Two Pianos as a commission for the piano duo Ethel Bartlett and Rae Robertson in 1949, when he became a professor of composition at Princeton University. This piece differs from the work of the same title for the solo piano from 1926 by its decreased emphasis on elements of Czech folk music (which is evidently the reason why the individual parts are not designated with titles of folk dances but rather only by tempo markings), and also by its more raw and abstract expression, so it is suprising that the neoclassical Sinfonia Concertante No. 2, H 322, inspired by the expressive world of works by Joseph Haydn, was written in the same year. The instrumental writing in the Three Czech Dances is highly virtuosic and dense, with the rhythmic component clearly dominating. The premiere of Three Czech Dances was given in September 1949 at the famous Edinburgh Festival.

Aleš Březina, Bohuslav Martinů: Selected Masterpieces, © 2001 Supraphon Music a.s

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